Home Container Homes Tips & Tricks for First-Time Shipping Container Homeowners

Tips & Tricks for First-Time Shipping Container Homeowners


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Building a shipping container home is a great way to get your dream house while saving money.

However, there are a few key things to know before diving in. Being aware of these tips and tricks for first-time shipping container homeowners will help you avoid mistakes and maximize your successes!

In the video above by ShelterMode, learn about some common mistakes that can be made when building your first shipping container home.

Table of Contents

Shipping Container Homeowners: Learn About Your Neighborhood Rules

Learn About Your Neighborhood Rules

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This is one of those things that appears straightforward but, in reality, has a lot of rules and requirements is container housing.

The most significant ones are listed below, along with what you must do to comply.

Safety standards for shipping container homeowners

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) establishes shipping container standards.

These include dimensions, weight limits, and fire protection requirements. So, you must ensure that your container meets these standards.

Building codes

Your local government might have specific codes regarding how tall buildings should be built.

You must first ensure that it complies with the code if you want to build a taller structure.

Insurance requirements

You’re required to carry insurance if you ship goods across state lines.

This includes cargo insurance, which covers damage to the contents of the container.


If you plan to install solar panels or other equipment, you’ll likely need permits from both the city and county where you live.

Inspections for shipping container homeowners

Depending on where you live, you may also need inspections before you move in.

Find out what inspections are necessary by contacting your neighborhood building department.

Find a Contractor That Can Do It All

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Finding a contractor who can handle everything from design to construction is key to ensuring your dream home gets built correctly.

Why use a professional?

As future shipping container homeowners, having a general contractor on site will not only ensure quality workmanship, but it also saves you money and headaches down the road.

While there are many things to consider when choosing a builder, one thing is certain: You want a professional who knows what he/she is doing.

What to look for when choosing a builder

When looking for a builder, ask yourself questions like:

  • How long has the builder been building custom homes?
  • Are they licensed and insured?
  • What types of projects do they work on?
  • Have they worked with local builders?
  • Does the builder have experience working with modular homes?

If you don’t already know the answers, make sure to ask.

How to find a good contractor?

The best way to find a contractor who can do it all is by asking friends and family members for recommendations.

Another option is to check online reviews. Some people even post reviews on sites such as Houzz.com.

If you decide to hire a builder based solely on referrals, make sure you interview several different contractors.

Ask about previous projects, how much they charge per square foot, whether they use subcontractors, and how they communicate with clients.

Ensure you understand the contractor’s terms and conditions

Verify your understanding of the contract’s terms and conditions, including payment obligations, delivery dates, and warranty information.

Also, make sure you understand the scope of the work being done.

Finally, once you’ve hired a builder, keep tabs on him/her throughout the process.

Be aware of deadlines, changes, and any issues that arise. If you do this, you won’t be caught off guard by issues later on.

Shipping Container Homeowners Can DIY Without a Contractor

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There are many ways to go ahead and build a shipping container house without hiring a contractor.

However, you might feel overwhelmed by the process if you’ve never built one before.

Here are some tips to keep in mind if you decide to do it yourself.

Know your budget as shipping container homeowners

Choose the starting price per square foot that you can afford. Then add the price of labor as well as all of your supplies.

Once you have a rough estimate, look online for average prices for each material.

This way, you can see whether you’ll save money by buying used or renting supplies.

Choose materials wisely

You may think that plywood is the best choice because it’s cheap. However, wood isn’t always the most durable option. In fact, it’s usually the least expensive.

Instead, use pressure-treated lumber, which has undergone chemical treatment to ward off rot.

Wood siding is also great because it doesn’t require painting. Plus, it’s easy to install.

On the other hand, concrete is very heavy and requires special equipment. Also, it needs to dry for several days before use.

Unconventional building materials

Reclaimed materials will save you money because it won’t cost much to make something out of old material.

Usually, you won’t need to pay for reclaimed materials like steel beams, lumber, or cement, as these materials can be found around homes, businesses, schools, churches, and even government buildings.

There are many ways to reuse reclaimed building materials.

For example, old barn doors, wood floorboards, windows, etc. can be repurposed into furniture, cabinets, and more.

Get Help from Friends and Family

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Do you have friends or family members who already own a house? Ask them for advice about becoming shipping container homeowners.

They might even offer to lend you money for materials. Or ask them to come over and help you measure things like doorways and windows.

Shipping Container Homeowners: DIY Home Insulation to Save Money

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Insulating your walls will lower energy bills. It is not, however, as easy as spreading out some blankets.

Insulation comes in a variety of forms, including fiberglass, cellulose, and spray foam. Each type has its pros and cons.

Fiberglass is inexpensive but does not last long, while spray foam is more expensive than fiberglass but lasts longer. However, cellulose is the cheapest option, but it takes time to dry.

The best solution depends on your budget, location, and personal preferences.

Built-in Furniture

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Built-in furniture can save you so much time, money, and, most of all, space.

You can hire someone to make it for you or build it yourself. Just remember to take the available space into consideration.

You’re One Step Closer to Becoming Shipping Container Homeowners

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Shipping container homes have been popping up around the country lately. But if you haven’t seen one yet, now might be the perfect time to check one out!

They’re affordable, environmentally friendly, and offer lots of space for growing families.

They also come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, from modest mobile homes to enormous modular structures.

Because they’re made of steel and extremely durable and won’t fall apart like traditional houses.

There is still a lot more to learn about what you will need before getting your container home, but with the above tricks and tips, you are already halfway there.

If you’re like us and want to keep learning more about DIY container shipping homes, check out our content-rich website.

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Author: DIYTalk

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